Clever design and skilful landscaping transform a Rathfarnham garden

At the very outset of this project, the priorities were firmly established and several appeared much more obvious than others. For starters, the existing garden lacked any redeeming features, the space looked tired, jaded and overgrown. Planting was adhoc, whilst very limited in some areas, it was overgrowing and out of control in other areas. The patio was too small and poorly positioned, the pergola unwanted and intrusive and the paneled garden fencing which had seen better days.

A more challenging issue was the view which was dominated by the visibility of a large looming grey wall which no matter what was in the garden, distracted your attention and contributed to an overall disappointing and unappealing look to the space. On the plus side, the garden enjoyed a very south-west sunny aspect and the garden shed was surplus to requirements and was earmarked to be removed.

BEFORE: Rampant ivy

BEFORE: That familiar jaded look

The proposed design focused on the important aspects of preserving the site’s open sunny aspect, whilst making provision for a suitable patio and replacing the drab and damaged panel fencing with custom built rendered block wall.  The very tall and unusually high rear wall would be partly concealed by bamboo planting which were planted into a purpose built bamboo to allow the plants flourish and provide an immediate and appealing screen. Planted in deep raised planters ensures there is virtually no risk of any bamboo root encroaching on the space.

The design proposed two distinct finishes for the raised beds rendered block with a painted finish (Bamboo area) and natural stone (cream sandstone in drystone finish) to be used for constructing the feature raised bed which would circumvent the main area of the garden. Sweeping curves and semi-circles were used to create a very nice and attractive surface. Grey sandstone was selected to provide a hardwearing and neutral cover for the patio as well as the capping areas of the raised beds.

A wide variety of plants feature in this garden including superb Bamboo, Nandina, Acer Bloodgood, a wide mix of Herbaceous perennials including Echinacea Magnus, Helenium Moerheim Beauty, Helleborus, Scabiosa, Primula, dwarf Agapanthus etc. to ensure an interesting and colourful display throughout the year.

Garden lighting was discreet and with four distinct zones each controlled remotely using wireless controls, and configured to create a range of different lighting moods. The design also also incorporated some labour saving features, eg the distinctive mowing edge around the roll turf lawn.

Colourful planting ideas which will repeat each year

Even a modest sized lawn can be a garden feature


Sett edgings make a very decorative finish as well as a labour saving mowing strip

The sweeping curves grabs your attention, holds it and guides you around the garden

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